On fiscal cliff, Americans say leave me out of this

U.S. Governors Association Executive Committee members talk to reporters after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House December 4, 2012 in Washington, DC.

There are about three weeks until a package of steep tax hikes and budget cuts, also known as the fiscal cliff, would go into effect unless Congress and the White House can reach a deal.

President Obama will be in Northern Virginia today visiting with a middle class family to highlight the impact of the fiscal cliff on ordinary Americans.

Previous polling has showed Americans from both parties want Republicans and Democrats in Congress to compromise, but what budget changes is the public hoping for?

According to Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport, Americans are not specific, but they are insistent: “[They] say 'Do something that doesn’t affect me,'" says Newport.

So, how does the "not-my-wallet" mentality translate to this debate? Cuts to universal entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security are unpopular. Yet, 6 in 10 Americans support proposed tax increases on high-income earners.

 

About the author

Frank Newport, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief at Gallup and appears regularly on Marketplace.

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